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Sound Bites: Ditching the car by recreating on bikes and trails

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Good morning. Suffolk County adopted a hiking and biking master plan on Friday. It enhances more than 1,200 miles of bike infrastructure, which can now be viewed online through an interactive portal.

The plan was rolled out during International Free Car Day, which is held across 2,000 cities worldwide to encourage sustainable transportation. 

Users can download an interactive map throughout the county located near rail stations for car-free exploration. Here's a bite-sized look at what else we're hearing:

A federal court sided with a transgender prison inmate who sued Connecticut over a lack of gender-affirming health care. Veronica-May Clark said her requests for medical and mental health care to treat her gender dysphoria were denied. Clark is serving a 75-year prison term for murder. The court ruled that state Department of Correction employees were deliberately indifferent to her medical needs.

Manorville is connected with public water. After years of efforts, the Suffolk County Water Authority has extended over 200,000 feet of water lines to households impacted by PFAS. This is a result of a 2017 assessment from the County Department of Health Services of drinking wells contaminated with PFOA and PFOS.

A former Suffolk County lawmaker agreed to three years of prohibition. Dr. William Spencer is awaiting a Suffolk County judge to agree to a plea deal before dismissing his felony. In 2020, Spencer, who is also a physician, was arrested for an attempt to exchange opioids for sex with a woman who also worked as a police informant. Spencer resigned from leadership positions and served as a Suffolk legislator while his charges were pending. Spencer said he would seek to get his medical license reinstated.

The sale of three Connecticut hospitals to Yale New Haven Health is in jeopardy. Waterbury Hospital, Manchester Memorial, and Rockville General are waiting to get funding from parent company Prospect Medical Holdings. The hospitals owe millions to their vendors. In an email obtained by CT Mirror, the CEO of Griffin Hospital warned Governor Ned Lamont that mounting debt, plus a recent cyberattack, could jeopardize the deal.

New York issues cease-and-desist to election fraudsters. The letter was issued to a group, New York Citizens Audit Civil Fund, for impersonating election workers and falsely accusing voters of felony election fraud. The group's leader, Marly Hornik, was an election denier in the 2020 elections.

Governor Kathy Hochul was with the US Climate Alliance in New York City as part of "Climate Week". It's a coalition of 25 governors that they say represents around 60% of the U-S economy and more than half the country’s population. Hochul touted New York's efforts to install heat pumps in large buildings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. New York has a goal to phase out fossil fuel heating and cooling in new construction by 2027.

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Andrea Quiles is a fellow at WSHU.